I think if asked about their favorite music, most people would choose either songs or artists who were popular when they were about 12 to 25 years old. I have no empirical, or even anecdotal evidence to back this up, it’s just a hunch. It would actually make a good hypothesis for someone studying sociology, if it hasn’t been done already.
My sister sent an e-mail today saying that in an attempt to get “with it” in terms of popular music, she was listening to a Pandora “Top Hits” station while working. She went on to lament the sad state of affairs in pop music after hearing Kanye West and Jay-Z’s eloquently titled song, Niggas In Paris. Her husband responded by saying that people said the same thing about Elvis back in the day. I told her to lighten up, Grandma, the kids like it.
Then she responded, and called herself “very old,” which in turn made me feel prehistoric since she’s my younger sister. To make matters worse, a short while after that exchange, when driving Justin to a friend’s house, I was flipping through radio stations (I am completely ADD when listening to the car radio.), the “cool hits” (i.e. “oldies”) station was playing Armageddon It by Def Leppard. That album came out when I was high school! Def Leppard was practically edgy back then. Hair bands on KOOL-108. God help us all. In what twisted, fucked up world, is that an oldie? Oh yeah, in the one where you’re OLD.
Then the news came out that Davy Jones passed away. And I realized that when I was in high school, The Monkees were the oldies. Even though barely two decades had passed since they were a big deal. And probably my parents felt the same way I felt today when The Monkees TV show turned up on Nickelodeon in the late 80s, and we kids laughed at how silly they looked. Of course before that, I only knew Davy Jones from his dreamy turn on The Brady Bunch, which was on every day after school. Marcia was president of his fan club and showed up at the recording studio wearing a groovy yellow poncho, but got hustled out by his goons. Davy overheard, felt bad and showed up at her house later.
And then the fourth musical travesty of the day. I subscribe to the Facebook page for the Hennepin Theatre Trust. They throw out updates about upcoming shows, occasionally they’ll have ticket giveaways. Today they were giving away a pair of tickets to see RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles. Leave your favorite Beatles song in the comments to enter in the drawing. Hard to choose, but I threw down Day Tripper. I scrolled back through the earlier comments to see what others had picked. Very diverse selection. Let It Be, Norwegian Wood, Dear Prudence, A Hard Day’s Night, In My Life, Hey Jude, Revolution, Blackbird, Yesterday, Paperback Writer, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, Strawberry Fields…
…and one particularly enthusiastic response. “MRS. ROBINSON!!!”
© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2012